DEEP: Stream Channel Encroachment Lines Fact Sheet

Stream Channel Encroachment Lines

Program Repealed effective October 1, 2013 per PA 13-205

An Environmental Permitting Fact Sheet

Program Overview

This program, administered by the Bureau of Water Protection and Land Reuse's Inland Water Resources Division, regulates the placement of encroachments and obstructions riverward of stream channel encroachment lines, to lessen the hazards to life and property due to flooding. Stream channel encroachment lines have been established for about 270 linear miles of riverine floodplain throughout the State, and are shown on stream channel encroachment line maps, which are on file in the Town Clerk's office in the affected town. An index to the maps is available from DEEP. In making a decision on a stream channel encroachment line permit application, DEEP must consider the impact of proposed activities on the floodplain environment, including wildlife and fisheries habitats, and on flooding and the flood hazards to people and property posed by such activity.

Authorizing Statutes

Program Repealed effective October 1, 2013 per PA 13-205
Sections 22a-342 through 22a-349a of the Connecticut General Statutes (CGS)

Who Must Apply

Any person proposing to place an encroachment or obstruction riverward of stream channel encroachment lines must obtain a permit. Activities which require a permit when conducted riverward of such lines include the removal or deposition of material, any alteration of the land or watercourse or construction of structures, filling, dredging, clearing, grubbing, grading, piping, culverting, channelizing, diverting, damming, dewatering, construction of structures, and any other activity that temporarily or permanently alters the character of the floodplain or watercourse. Additionally, major repair of structures that existed before the stream channel encroachment lines were established may require a permit.

Required Application Documents

Permit Application Form for Inland Water Resources Division Activities (DEP-IWRD-APP-100), and various technical documents in support of the application. Supporting documents include, but are not limited to, engineering and environmental reports, plans and specifications describing the proposed activity and its impact on the floodplain environment, flooding and flood hazards, and proposed flood emergency and contingency plans. A checklist of application documents is included on form DEP-IWRD-APP-100. Permit Application Transmittal Form (DEP-APP-001); Applicant Compliance Information (DEP-APP-002); 


Application fees are based on the nature of the proposed encroachment or obstruction:

No change in grade and no construction of above-ground structures $470.00
Change in grade and no construction of above-ground structures $940.00
Change in grade and above-ground structure or buildings $4,000.00

Review and Processing

Upon receipt of the application, application fee and a certified copy of the Notice of Application, the application is reviewed for sufficiency. If the application is sufficient, a detailed technical review is initiated. This review consists of an evaluation of the technical documentation provided in the application as well as an assessment of the site, flooding and flood hazards under existing and proposed conditions, and the anticipated effects of the proposed activity on the environment. The application may also be reviewed by DEEP's Fisheries and Wildlife Divisions and the staff of the Natural Diversity Data Base program. If Department staff have questions or require additional information about the proposed project, they will contact the applicant or his designated agent. Upon completion of this technical review, a tentative determination to grant or deny the permit application will be made by the Commissioner. A Notice of Tentative Determination will be published in a newspaper having general circulation in the affected area and public comments will be solicited on the tentative determination. In some cases, a public hearing may be held. After completion of the technical review and consideration of any public comments, and subsequent to the close of any hearing, DEEP will issue a final decision on the permit application.

Unique Processing Features

The stream channel encroachment line is a regulatory boundary and may not delineate the entire width of the actual physical floodplain at a particular location. The elevation of the base flood used in evaluating the effects of proposed encroachments is either the base flood used by DEEP to establish the stream channel encroachment lines or the 100 year flood, whichever is higher. For critical activities, including but not limited to hospitals, elderly housing, schools, residences, and the treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous waste, the DEEP will use the 500-year flood elevation.

Public Participation

The applicant is responsible for publishing a Notice of Application when the application is submitted to DEEP. Once this notice is published, the applicant must send a copy of the notice to the Chief Elected Official of the municipality in which the regulated activity is proposed, and send a copy of the notice, along with the Certification of Notice Form Notice of Application (DEP-APP-005A), to DEEP. After the technical review, DEEP will publish a Notice of Tentative Determination to grant or deny the permit. If permit issuance is indicated, a draft permit with proposed terms, limitations, and conditions is prepared and made available for review and comments. DEEP may, at its discretion, hold a hearing on the application. DEEP may require an applicant to post a sign on the site or to provide any other reasonable form of notice necessary to apprise the public and abutting landowners of the proposed activity.

Average Processing Time

For this permit program, processing time for a typical application, based upon recent experience is less than 180 days.  Past performance is not a guarantee of future processing timeframes.  In order to increase the efficiency of application processing, we recommend that you utilize the Pre-Application Guidance process, assure that your application package is properly completed at the time of submittal, and that you promptly reply to any requests for information.

Permit Duration

Permits generally provide that authorized activities must be completed within three years after issuance of the permit, although a permittee may request up to two one-year extensions.

Contact Information

Inland Water Resources Division
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
79 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106-5127

This overview is designed to answer general questions and provide basic information. You should refer to the appropriate statutes and regulations for the specific regulatory language of the different permit programs. This document should not be relied upon to determine whether or not an environmental permit is required. It is your responsibility to obtain and comply with all required permits.

Fact Sheet: DEEP-IWRD-FS-105
Content Last Updated June, 2013

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